Wednesday, August 26, 2009

warning: not modifiable!

I keep missing out on government handouts. I think this means that I'm the benefactor instead. I only like using that word because it was in Great Expectations, which I didn't much like but seems to have stuck in my head along with a mental image of Miss Havisham in an old, worn out wedding dress.

Speaking of old and worn out... It seems that I haven't had a "hoopty" since I graduated college. My first car was really a '67 Mustang, but it needed work costing only $1200 that I saved about half of with my mom chipping in the rest. Said work prevented it from being an everyday car so I drove a '76 Ford Maverick. Then I got to driving the Mustang, but the driver's door never really worked well and I was a broke ass high school kid with limited tools. When I went to college, I sold it and went without for most of freshman year. Then it was a borrowed '85 Ford Thunderbird. Then I bought another '67 Stang, a little better than the first, but not much. I drove that hunk of junk for a few years. For the better part of 8 years, I drove a "clunker." Clunkers were the only cars I could: 1) afford, 2) afford insurance for. In a nutshell, clunkers made really good starter cars.

Those starter cars made me really appreciate the new car I bought as I was just about to graduate college and already had a job lined up, contract signed and all! I had a 30 mile round trip commute and the Mustang wasn't going to make the grade on that. But yes, I finally bought a new car. It was a sweet little 2002 Mercury Cougar. I loved that car. It was the first thing that I had bought with 100% of my own money, and it was brand, spanking new. It really made me sad that I had to get a new car for the new job last year (cargo space issues). I was heartbroken when the dealer only offered me $4000 for it after I had kept it up so meticulously. So I sold it on Craigslist in 2 days for $5500. That wasn't much easier.

But I'm getting off topic here other than ultimately getting around to lamenting the loss of 750,000 starter cars for the new drivers out there. All in the name of saving about a quarter of a day's worth of car exhaust pollution each year. If it even does that, now that these folks have a new hotness that they might end up driving more than they did the old and busted.

And to add insult to injury, I once again missed the free government money boat. I neither still owned a clunker nor desired to purchase a new car. So there's another $4500 in government behavior modification that won't be modifying much for me. So now, I've spent $7500 too much for my house and $4500 too much for my car. I think my two year total economic disadvantage to my peers is up to $12k if I'm any good at math. And I was feeling pretty good because one of my friends traded in a decent Dodge Ram diesel for the program this past weekend for the CforC credit. I could trick myself into thinking that my portion of taxes that went towards the program went into her new car! Then it turns out that a wholesaler bought the truck from the dealer for $4500 instead. At least it might end up being a good starter work truck for someone.

1 comment:

Brian said...

The purpose of cash for clunkers wasn't behavior modification. It was a(nother) subsidy to the auto industry (in which I include American dealers of non-American cars.)

Not that that makes it any better.

(The word verification is "bation". Are you writing these now?)